More than 750 students eligible to graduate from NIC

Of the 765 North Idaho College students eligible for graduation, an estimated 350 students from both academic and professional-technical programs are expected to walk in the 2006 commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 19 in NIC’s Christianson Gym.
“This is the highlight of our academic year,” said NIC President Michael Burke. “It is always rewarding to see so many of our students realize their dreams of a college degree and a career.”
NIC student Lorie Vesterby is realizing her dreams.
Vesterby, 39 of Hayden, is a single mother of five teenage children who decided to return to school after a car accident that forced her to leave her job. She already had several credits prior to enrolling at NIC in the spring of 2005 and is graduating this week with an associate’s degree after just three semesters at NIC. She hopes to continue to work toward a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work and someday work in child protection and alcohol and drug recovery.
“I felt a little weird returning to school, thinking I would be the only older student in class with a bunch of teenagers,” Vesterby said. “But I really found that NIC was very receptive to older students and with more maturity, I think I took my education a little more seriously and was someone that the younger students could look up to.”
Vesterby has become a mentor that her children can look up to as well. Vesterby is a member of NIC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society for two-year colleges, and she’s on the NIC Dean’s List. She is a member of Psi Beta, the honors society for psychology majors, she tutors other students in the TRIO Student Support Services program and was a recent recipient of a $1,400 renewable scholarship through Potlatch Corporation.
For the Vesterbys, attending classes at NIC has become a family affair. Vesterby’s oldest son Benji, 19, enrolled at NIC this semester working toward a degree in computer science. Alisha, 17, is a junior at Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. She plans to earn a degree in culinary arts from NIC after she graduates from high school.
Vesterby home schools her other three children, 16-year-old Michelle, 14-year-old Michael and 13-year-old Christine. All three plan to test for the General Education Development (GED) program soon and someday attend NIC.
“They come to NIC with me and do their home schooling and they love the college environment,” Vesterby said. “I’m very involved in their schooling and they’re involved with mine.”
Vesterby said she is proud that her determination has helped instill the motivation in her children to earn an education and achieve their goals. And as she walks across the stage during this commencement ceremony, Vesterby will be walking both to celebrate her own accomplishments and as a role model for each of her children who will be watching her from the crowd of thousands.
“I’m walking mostly for my kids,” Vesterby said. “So they can see that they too can achieve anything they put their minds to.”
NIC Communication Instructor Tim Christie, who has touched literally thousands of lives in his 34-year tenure at NIC, will present on “The Power of One” during this year’s commencement address.
Because limited seating is available, guest tickets have already been distributed to graduates and attendees will only be admitted to the commencement ceremony with a ticket. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for seating and parking. Shuttle Express service will be available from 9 a.m. to noon at five drop off/pick up locations on campus and from the Museum of North Idaho parking lot. Parking permits will not be needed the day of commencement.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on Adelphia Channel 19 beginning 10 a.m. Videos of commencement will also be available for purchase after one week for $20 per tape. Call Instructional Media Services for video information at (208) 769-3429.
Commencement attendees who need special accommodations should call the NIC Center for Educational Access at (208) 769-5947.

For More Information
NIC Senior Records Evaluator Susan Carey, (208) 769-3336

Posted: Monday, May 15, 2006

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